Suzanne Treister, Fictional Videogame Still…

Suzanne Treister, Fictional Videogame Still/Q. Would you recognize a Virtual Paradise?, 1992, photograph (from original work on screen of original Amiga computer), Courtesy of the artist, P.P.O.W., New York and Annely Juda Fine Art, London

Angelo Ray Martínez, Balloon

Angelo Ray Martínez, Balloon, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8.125 x 2 in., image courtesy of the artist 

Tim Portlock, Clone

Tim Portlock, Clone, 2012, inkjet print, 54 x 72 in., image courtesy of the artist 

Angelo Ray Martínez, Alchemy

Angelo Ray Martínez, Alchemy, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 12 ¼ x 2 in., image courtesy of the artist 

Butt Johnson, Various Controllers, Maps, and a Robotic Accessory

Butt Johnson, Various Controllers, Maps, and a Robotic Accessory, 2007, ballpoint ink on Bristol, 26 x 20 in., image courtesy of the artist 

Angelo Ray Martínez, Labyrinth

Angelo Ray Martínez, Labyrinth, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 20 ¼ x 20 x 2 in., image courtesy of the artist 

JooYoung Choi

JooYoung Choi, Journey Vision 5000 – Sweet Cretaceous Edition BR, 2018, flat screen, plywood, digital video art files, acrylic paint, 24 x 25 x 6 in., Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Tom DuBrock

Angela Washko

Angela Washko, Playing a Girl from the series The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, 2013, video, Courtesy of the artist. 

Ueli Alder

Ueli Alder, Untitled Detonation #8, 2011, inkjet print, 37.8 x 31.5 in., Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell

Invader

Invader, Rubik Wipe Out, 2014, Rubik’s Cubes on Perspex, 62 5/8 x 55 1/8 in., Courtesy of the artist and Over the Influence, Los Angeles

Tabor Robak

Tabor Robak, 20XX, 2013, HD Video, real-time 3D, 6 minutes, 43 seconds, 80-in. monitor, Courtesy of the artist and team (gallery, inc.), New York

Mathew Zefeldt

Mathew Zefeldt, Barrel, 2016, acrylic on maple plywood, 48 x 40 x 26 in., Courtesy of the artist

Joan Pamboukes

Joan Pamboukes, Morning from Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas, 2006, digital chromogenic print, 30 x 40 in., Courtesy of the artist. 

Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art

October 19, 2019 - February 2, 2020
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

According to a 2015 Entertainment Software Association survey, 155 million Americans play video games. Visual artists are gamers too, yet video games are rarely examined as a major influence on contemporary art. Open World draws attention to this phenomenon through the presentation of artworks including painting, sculpture, textiles, prints, drawings, animation, video games, video game modifications and game-based performances and interventions by makers who self-identify as artists.

The artworks in Open World reference a broad cross-section of games, ranging from early text adventure and arcade games to modern massively multi-player online roleplaying games and first-person shooters. Participating artists are influenced by some of the most beloved video game franchises including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, The Sims and Final Fantasy.

The exhibition’s title refers to open-world video games, which allow a player to roam through a virtual world, freely selecting their objectives. The title also draws attention to the rich opportunities video games offer for creative expression. Through games, artists build immersive, alternate words. They use digital games to create meaning through imagery, music, sound effects, animation and narrative. The rules governing the experience of playing a video game can express a viewpoint and encourage critical thinking or empathy by directing the player’s attention to systems at work within the real world.

The artists participating in Open World include: Ueli Alder (Hemberg, Switzerland), Cory Arcangel (New York), Alan Butler (Dublin), JooYoung Choi (Houston), Joseph DeLappe (Dundee, Scotland), Krista Hoefle (South Bend, IN), Invader (Paris), Butt Johnson (New York), Angelo Ray Martínez (South Bend, IN), Michael Menchaca (San Antonio), Feng Mengbo (Beijing), Joan Pamboukes (New York), Oliver Payne (Los Angeles), Tim Portlock (St. Louis), Tabor Robak (New York), Rachel Rossin (New York), Jacolby Satterwhite (New York), Skawennati (Montreal), Suzanne Treister (London), Nathan Vincent (Los Angeles), Bill Viola (Long Beach, CA) and USC Game Innovation Lab (Los Angeles), Angela Washko (Pittsburgh) and Mathew Zefeldt (Minneapolis).

Open World Arcade

As part of Open World, the Akron Art Museum will present a day-long juried arcade of indie video games and table top games from developers, students and game-creators. Open World Arcade will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019, 11 am – 5 pm. Games presented in the arcade are judged by a panel of museum staff and video game professionals based on novelty, professional polish, aesthetics, quality of game experience and “wow factor.” 

Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, The Tom and Marilyn Merryweather Fund, the Akron Community Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Media Sponsorship is provided by Western Reserve PBS.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Logo    Ohio Arts Council Logo    The Tom and Marilyn Merryweather Fund
  The Tom and Marilyn Merryweather Fund      Akron Community Foundation      
National Endowment for the Arts Logo    Western Reserve PBS      

Coffee with a Curator

September 7, 2019, 10:30 – 11:30 am

Grab a cup of coffee and chat about the upcoming exhibition Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art with Curator of Exhibitions Theresa Bembnister. 

Coffee with a Curator

September 7, 2019, 10:30 – 11:30 am

Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art

Grab a cup of coffee and chat about the upcoming exhibition Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art with Curator of Exhibitions Theresa Bembnister. This casual conversation will focus on the behind-the-scenes work required to organize Open World, which examines the widespread influence of video games on artists across generations.

Complimentary admission for members, $12/nonmembers • Registration is required. Use the button or link below to register.

Image: Joan Pamboukes, Firelight from Grand Theft Auto, San Andreas, 2006, archival pigment print, 30 x 40 in., Courtesy of the artist